Saturday, April 26, 2008


Prince Nico Mbarga & Rocafil Jazz—Sweet Mother

Side A
Sweet Mother
Wayo Inlaw
Peace Movement Social Club of NigeriaIkenga Super Stars of Africa

Side B
Aki Special
Shakara School GirlsIkenga Super Stars of Africa
Olu Ugbo (Operation feed The Nation)Ikenga Super Stars of Africa

These songs are classics, if you don't have them already... Plus, the tape includes Ikenga filler. Sublime stuff all of it. Nigerian music from the 70s is so HOT right now.

Purchase a good quality digital version of Sweet Mother here.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Amadou Sangare dit Bari—Histoire de Sabali

Face A
Histoire de Sabali 1

Face B
Histoire de Sabali 2

An oral history recording by a well-known griot from Mali. Simple musical phrases repeated for forever or so. Plucked and muted kamalngoni kora, spare melody, zero harmony. And the haunted-echo storytelling/non-singing from start to finish... Patient/attentive listening required. There's much to hear in between the notes, etc.

PS: Go see this spooky-sounding/looking "desert blues" group from Niger called Etran Finatawa if you can. They made an impressive New York City debut on Friday and are touring the US/Europe through November.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Mahmoud Guinia

Side 1
Track 1
Track 2

Side 2
Track 3
Track 4

This is the most magnificent and recommended tape I have heard in a while... enjoy this gnawa music from Morocco's Mahmoud Guinia. Google around (also under "Gania", a commonly-used spelling of his name) and you will see Guinia has collaborated with people like Hamid Drake (awesome) and Bill Laswell (interesting but less awesome). Not bad for a guy who also makes some of the illest spiritual/stoner music ever on hometown releases like this.

Thanks to Landon P for the tape!

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Allan Family—Ke Ofee Nɔ Nŋ Afeee

Side A

Side B
New Creation

The Allan Family Culture Troupe plays Ga traditional music. They have been recording four-joint albums like this for years, this is only one I could find in my collection today. The Ga people live in Accra, Ghana, where their once-dominant language has been over-run by the influx of Ghanaians from other parts of the country. Not as many people need to speak Ga in Accra these days. I found the Ga language incredibly challenging, and more recently have had that notion reinforced by its baffling wikipedia entry. My goodness.

In any case, this tape is really good. These are the rhythms upon which the dzama (or jama) style of hiplife is based. But even without the now ubiquitous presence of these patterns in Ghanaian pop I would hasten to say this music is some of the most vital traditional music in Ghana. Pep bands even rock these jams in the stands at pro soccer matches. Everyone gets pumped.

Cheers to my friend Aaron of Denver/Berlin who introduced me to the Allan Family long before I ever thought of visiting Ghana.

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